Saturday 19 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Documentary · Wish Me Away

Wish Me Away

Country star Chely Wright seeks acceptance as she comes clean about living a lie in a documentary that chronicles her very public process of coming out.

Rod Lott May 16th, 2012

Wish Me Away
7:30 p.m. Thursday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

Coinciding with OKC Pride activities, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art on Thursday screens Wish Me Away, a documentary on country music superstar Chely Wright’s decision to come out as gay — arguably the first in her genre to do so.

While I’m no admirer of her music, I completely, wholeheartedly respect her for this act of bravery. Known for hit singles as “Jezebel” and “Single White Female,” Wright built a winning career in a field that embraces conservative politics with bear hugs. To announce she’s a lesbian is to play Russian roulette with her livelihood, but as she tells the camera, living a lifetime of dishonesty “about killed me.”

“I’ve never denied God and I am about family and I am about the freedoms of my country, and I’m gay,” says Wright, as religious as she is beautiful, but Nashville’s culture is such that homosexuality negates those other beliefs. Thus, we see her cry in anguish and wrestle with doubt as the film traces the monthlong lead-up to her very public outing to Meredith Vieira on NBC’s Today.

To tell every step of Wright’s story from a sad childhood in small-town Kansas to the top of the Billboard charts, feature-debuting directors Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf utilize music video clips, concert footage and interviews with family members, friends, radio DJs, music historians, managers and label execs.

One past talk-show interview finds Dick Clark asking Wright about her love life, and she awkwardly stumbles around a non-answer. Back in the now, more uncomfortable is the resistance she hits after telling those close to her about her sexuality, from her military-minded brother-in-law to her New York book editor.

It’s a compelling journey to witness, especially since Wright intended to let the secret die with her, and it’s nearly impossible not to empathize on some level. While I love women as much as Wright does, I have had the most extreme displeasure in feeling like an outcast. It’s tough to live as yourself when the world around you bullies you for not being Just Like Them.

Look past Wish Me Away’s occasionally clumsy edges, like an iMovie title treatment, and support it for challenging stereotypes. It’s not likely to change anyone’s mindset ... but wouldn’t it be wonderful if it did?

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